Monkeypox

WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease.  Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, but monkeypox typically results in a milder infection. It is rarely fatal. It is not related to chickenpox. 

HOW IS MONKEYPOX SPREAD?

Monkeypox can spread person to person through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs
  • Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
  • Through respiratory droplets, secretions, or oral fluids from a person with monkeypox
  • This contact can happen during intimate sexual contact, including:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with monkeypox
    • Hugging, massage, or kissing and talking closely
    • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox, such as bedding, towels, and sex toys

Pictures of monkeypox rashWHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MONKEYPOX?

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms, such as sore throat, nasal stuffiness or cough
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. 

Although rarely fatal, symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.

HOW LONG DO MONKEYPOX SYMPTOMS LAST?

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

IS THERE A TREATMENT FOR MONKEYPOX?

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, although antivirals for smallpox may be used in those with high risk for severe illness.

HOW CAN MONKEYPOX BE PREVENTED?

  1. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. 
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of person with monkeypox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  2. Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  3. Wash your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
  4. Isolate infected people from others who could be at risk for infection.

IF YOU HAVE A NEW, UNEXPLAINED RASH OR OTHER MONKEYPOX SYMTPOMS: 

  • See your healthcare provider right away
  • Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out

IF YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH MONKEYPOX:

  • Follow the treatment and prevention recommendations of your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until all your sores have healed and you have a fresh layer of skin formed.

MORE INFORMATION:


Last updated:   8/15/2022